Best Chocolate Cake

5 from 3 votes
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Best Chocolate Cake is rich and decadent, this chocolate cake is made from scratch so it’s moist and delicious. Topped with homemade chocolate pudding frosting, this is a chocolate lover’s delight! 

picture of a chocolate layer cake on a white plate
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picture of a chocolate layer cake on a white plate

Black Magic Chocolate Cake

Made with espresso or black coffee to deepen the rich chocolatey flavor, buttermilk to make it moist and flaky, and topped with a mouse-like chocolate pudding frosting, your taste buds are in for a real treat. If you love chocolate, this is the ultimate chocolate lover’s dessert.

There are plenty of claims out there for the best chocolate cake recipe, but this one had every single person who ate it raving about how it was the best chocolate cake ever! It’s rich, moist, and decadent. There really isn’t another cake quite like this one. 

If you’re worried that you aren’t good at baking, don’t be. This recipe is as easy as whipping up a cake from a box. Just use exact ingredients and follow the instructions. 

picture of a chocolate layer cake on a white plate

How To Make The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

This moist, decadent chocolate cake pairs perfectly with my homemade chocolate pudding frosting! Get on your baker’s hat and let’s make the best cake you’ve ever had. 

  1. First, preheat your oven to 350?. Then, grease two 9×2 inch round cake pans with butter and flour or cooking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper (see tip). 
  2. Next, whisk together your dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl. 
  3. Beat the eggs, buttermilk, espresso, oil, and vanilla into the dry ingredients on medium speed for 2-minutes. 
  4. The batter will be thin. Divide it between the two prepared pans. 
  5. Bake both cakes for 40-45 minutes. 
  6. While the cakes are cooking, make your homemade chocolate pudding frosting.
  7. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 10-minutes. Then, transfer them to a cooling rack for 1-hour. 
  8. After the cakes have cooled, place your first cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Then, pipe or spread a thick layer of frosting all over the top of the cake to create the filling layer. 
  9. Place the second cake on top of the first cake. Then, coat the second cake with frosting. 
  10. Give your cake a crumb coat and chill for 30-minutes. Then, add a final coating of frosting. 
picture of a chocolate layer cake on a white plate

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Chocolate Cake

Use Quality Cocoa Powder: Opt for high-quality cocoa powder for a deeper, more robust chocolate flavor. Dutch-processed cocoa can offer a smoother taste due to its neutral acidity.

Coffee Instead of Water: Substitute hot coffee for water in your recipe to enhance the chocolate flavor without making the cake taste like coffee.

Buttermilk for Moisture: Use buttermilk in your batter to add a tender crumb and subtle tanginess, improving the cake’s moisture and flavor.

Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure ingredients like eggs, butter, and dairy are at room temperature to achieve a smoother, more homogenous batter.

Sift Dry Ingredients: Sift together flour, cocoa powder, and other dry ingredients to prevent clumps, ensuring an even distribution throughout the batter.

Don’t Overmix: Mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can develop the gluten in the flour, leading to a dense cake.

Use Parchment Paper: Line your cake pans with parchment paper to prevent sticking and ensure easy removal of the cake after baking.

Preheat Your Oven: Always preheat your oven to the correct temperature before baking to ensure even cooking.

Test for Doneness: Use a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake; it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached, indicating the cake is done.

Cool Before Icing: Allow the cake to cool completely before applying frosting or icing to prevent it from melting and ensure a smooth application.

Experiment with Add-Ins: Consider folding in chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit to the batter for added texture and flavor.

Use a Water Bath for Even Baking: For larger cakes, consider baking in a water bath to promote even heat distribution, reducing the risk of cracking or doming.

Layer with Flavor: When assembling a layer cake, incorporate complementary flavors with your fillings and frostings, such as raspberry, caramel, or coffee, to enhance the overall taste.

Dust with Cocoa Powder: For a simple, elegant finish, dust the top of the cake with a light layer of cocoa powder or powdered sugar.


What temperature do I bake the cakes? 

For this recipe, you will be baking your cakes in the oven. You want the oven to be 350?.

How long does this recipe take?

minutes of prep time to prepare your cakes, 45-minutes to cook, and an hour to cool. So, altogether, this recipe will take you about 2 hours and 55 minutes.

Can I make this chocolate cake ahead of time?

Yes, this cake can be made in advance. A fully frosted cake can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 1 day uncut. The frosting will thicken when cold and have more of a firm ganache texture as opposed to its silky soft and whipped texture right after making. If you let the cake sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours after removing it from the refrigerator, the frosting will soften up again. Just make sure not to leave it in a really warm area or in direct sunlight.

How do I store leftover cake?

r for up to 3 days. Or, you can store the cake in the refrigerator for up to a week. Additionally, you can freeze the cake unfrosted. Let them cool completely, and then wrap in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag, squeezing out any excess air. You can freeze the unfrosted cake  for up to 3 months.

Can I make a 4-layer chocolate cake?

Absolutely! You can make a 4-layer cake using 6-inch cake pans, divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake each cake for 30 to 35 minutes.

What to Enjoy with Chocolate Cake

Vanilla Ice Cream: The creamy texture and contrasting vanilla flavor complement the rich chocolate cake, providing a cool, smooth counterpoint.

Fresh Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries add a tart and sweet freshness that cuts through the density of the cake, balancing its sweetness.

Whipped Cream: Its light, airy texture and slight sweetness enhance the cake’s moistness without overpowering the chocolate flavor.

Caramel or Chocolate Sauce: Drizzling caramel adds a buttery sweetness, while extra chocolate sauce deepens the chocolate experience, adding layers of flavor.

Hot Coffee or Espresso: The bitterness and acidity of coffee balance the sweetness of the cake, enhancing its chocolate notes and cleansing the palate.

Red Wine: A glass of Merlot or Shiraz complements the cake with its fruit-forward notes and tannins, which can highlight chocolate’s complex flavors.

Cold Milk: The classic pairing, milk’s creaminess and subtle sweetness make each bite of cake more delightful, offering a comforting, familiar taste experience.

Powdered Sugar or Cocoa Powder: A light dusting adds a decorative touch and a burst of sweetness or intensified chocolate flavor, enhancing the cake’s visual appeal and taste.

Toasted, Chopped Nuts: The crunch and nutty flavor provide a textural contrast to the soft cake, adding depth and a roasted flavor that pairs well with chocolate.

Dessert Wine: A sweet Port or Sherry complements the cake’s richness with its own sweetness and complex flavors, creating a sophisticated pairing for a more indulgent experience.

Baking is a fun way to show your family and friends how much you love them. And, my Easy Chocolate Chinese Five Spice Cake, Easy Caramel Apple Spice Cake, or my Oreo Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Freak Cake are all sure to make everyone feel loved!

Try these other delicious desserts:

picture of frosted chocolate cake on a plate

The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever

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A homemade slice of black magic chocolate cake on a white plate.

Best Chocolate Cake

Are you looking for the best chocolate cake ever? You’re in luck because this chocolate cake recipe is perfectly rich, moist, and delicious!
Course cakes
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, chocolate, dessert, pudding frosting
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 slices
Calories 244kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 9×2-inch round cake pans with butter and flour or cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper. For best results, use bake-even strips.In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat in eggs, buttermilk, espresso, oil, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, the batter is going to be very thin.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared 9-inch pans.
  • Bake the cakes for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes clean from the center.
  • While the cakes are baking, begin preparing your frosting since it will also need to cool for 1 hour.
  • Cool the cakes in pans for at least 10 minutes and loosen from the sides of the pans before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • After the cakes have cool and the frosting has been prepared according to the recipe directions, place one of the cake layers on a cake stand or serving plate.
  •  Pipe or spread a thick layer of the frosting all over the top of the layer to create the filling layer.
  • Top with the other cake layer and give it a crumb coat and chill for 30 minutes before adding the final coating of frosting.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 293mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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